Kwando River safaris, tours & holiday packagesA marshy wilderness of channels and islands brimming with wildlife and a panoply of birds
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The Kwando is a life-giving river that rises in the Angolan highlands and ends its journey in Botswana's vast Linyanti Swamp.
The 730-kilometre Kwando River springs into life high in Angola and flows south to reach the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. Once past Caprivi it flows southeast, demarcating the border between Nambia and Botswana before finally spilling into the Linyanti Swamps.
The Kwando is the life-blood of the Caprivi region, providing sustenance for local people who pole along its course in traditional dug-out canoes, or mekoro, fishing for tilapia and other freshwater species. The river is also a source of food and water for vast herds of elephant and hippo, crocodiles and thousands of red lechwe.
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After rains have fallen in the Angolan highlands, the Kwando fills and swells, flowing south to inundate the floodplains that surround the forests in Mudumu National Park in Namibia. The landscape is regenerated, attracting vast numbers of wildlife, including impala, Burchell's zebra and the large game species migrating between Caprivi, Botswana and Angola.
And the wildlife is impressive, as much of the land through which the waterway flows is protected in the form of game reserves or wildlife management areas. Some of these sanctuaries were plagued by poachers during the civil war that raged between Namibia and Angola in the second half of the 20th century. Now, with peace restored, these protected areas are on their way to full restoration.
Upwards of 430 bird species have been recorded along the course of the Kwando River, including rare wattled cranes, slaty egret, Stanley’s bustard, rosy-throated longclaw, Dickinson’s kestrel, Allen’s Gallinule, lesser jacana, Black-winged and red-winged pratincoles, and coppery-tailed and black coucals.
Kwando River Map
Kwando River's location on Google Maps